On March 13, 2014 Steelcase announced it was increasing its purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to the equivalent of 100% of our global electricity consumption. This investment in renewable energy makes Steelcase the 15th largest renewable energy purchaser in the United States according to the US EPA Green Power Partnership. Steelcase was a founding member of the Green Power Partnership in 2001 when they purchased renewable energy equivalent to 100% of the electricity needs of our Global Headquarters building. The current renewable energy investment comes from 100% non-emitting sources (e.g. no landfill gas or burning biomass). In an effort to expand positive impact, Steelcase has created a one-of-a kind program that will enable our supplies to purchase renewable energy credits from these same clean sources at the same volume discount pricing Steelcase is paying. Learn more here.
Steelcase has been a champion of LEED with their Wood Furniture Manufacturing Plant being the first factory in the world to be LEED certified. Steelcases Work Labortory in Grand Rapids is LEED Platinum and the Leadership Space in the Headquarters is also LEED certified. Showroom spaces in Chicago, DC, and a business center in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia are also LEED certified. The University Staff Space and Innovation Center are in the LEED credentialing process.
Andrea Marz, Executive Director, USGBC WM
On April 18, the USGBC West Michigan hosted Dr. Heun for his presentation on Green Revolving Funds at Clark Retirement Community to over 50 attendees. This event was a part of the Battle of the Buildings monthly education program. Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction in the West Michigan area commercial & industrial buildings. Learn more here.
Mike Ignatoski, Director, Capital Projects and Facilities at Clark Retirement Community (a Battle of the Buildings participant) kicked off the program by sharing Clark’s recent energy efficiency project that included new a web based building management system, demand control ventilation strategies, air handler and pump adjustable speed drives, pipe insulation and a new energy efficient chiller. The project saves $131,000/year in energy costs. Ignatoski stressed the importance of forming a Green Team as well as engaging residents and staff at the ground level. Without their help these project would not have been as successful or embraced by the organization as a whole.
Dr. Matthew Kuperus Heun, Engineering Department, Calvin College followed with a presentation on Green Revolving Funds and they have been utilized at Calvin College. Dr. Heun explained the goal of a Green Revolving Fund is to take the savings from energy or other sustainability related projects and roll the savings back into a fund to finance the next energy or sustainability related project. He believes that behavior changes occur when we can demonstrate not only the environmental benefits but also the financial benefits of energy conservation. Dr. Heun shared Calvin’s Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) that is currently being used to internally finance campus energy projects. Students are involved in project analysis, providing opportunity for supplemental learning in energy stewardship and fiscal responsibility. Projects have included T12 fluorescent lighting retrofit, shower head replacement, and LED lighting retrofit at Calvin’s indoor tennis facility. To date, the program has saved $54,000 in energy costs.
Mark Zoeteman, PE, CEM, HBDP, LEED AP O+M, TREASURER
Senior Mechanical Engineer, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.
In early April, USGBC’s President and CEO, Rick Fedrizzi, said, “The green building community has a historic opportunity to use medical science to create better buildings. Human health as a pillar of sustainability has long been reflected in LEED, and GBCI’s new role as the third-party certifier for the WELL Building Standard will enable us to take that commitment further while making it easier for LEED users to incorporate health and wellness more deeply into their work.”
In January of 2014, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had released the AIA Health Action Plan and the AIA Energy Action Plan. “By promoting physical activity and saving electricity, Stair Week Michigan explores design and health at a unique angle with our communities. This coincides with AIA’s Design & Health Initiative and is currently a high priority,” said Jeffrey Ferweda, AIA Michigan President Elect, and Partner of Sedgewick & Ferweda Architects in Flint.
“Public health is increasingly focused on policies and designs that promote daily physical activity in schools, work sites and communities,” said Guy St. Germain, Western Upper Peninsula Health Officer. “Building designs that invite people to take the stairs, road designs that are safer for walking and cycling, and streetscapes with ample width for walking and bike parking promote healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce rates of chronic disease.”
In downtown Lansing, the quadruple LEED Platinum Christman Building, had included health considerations early on in its sustainability planning. The company has an in-house “BUILDwellness” program within its eight offices in five states. Angela Bailey, VP Marketing and Corporate Communications, Christman Company, described, “The great daylighting and ventilation in the building are just two of the creature comforts that our employees and guests alike enjoy about this building. Another feature is the central courtyard opening up from the 4th floor to the 6th. It floods the space with natural light while performing its envisioned role of encouraging constant interaction between employees.”
The USGBC West Michigan Chapter would like to congratulate Amway on their recent achievement of LEED for Commercial Interiors – Silver level certification at their Research and Development lab building. This building is located in the global headquarters complex in Ada, MI. Research and Development (R&D) at Amway has seen significant growth from the time Amway was a $1 billion company in 1981, when the building was originally constructed, to $12 billion today. With 220 of the 700 scientists and technicians in Ada working in the R&D building, Amway found themselves facing challenges regarding space and design. A decision was made to renovate the building and work began in 2009. The project took place in phases and took 3 years to complete.
“One of the primary reasons for the decision to pursue LEED was to help attract the best personnel from around the globe.” says Rick VanDellen, Sustainability Program Manager. “Amway understands the value of a healthy and sustainable work environment and LEED aids in the recruitment of new employees and retention of current employees.”
A few of the LEED interior design features include:
“Prior to the renovation the R&D lab was the highest energy consuming building on campus. That has been reduced by 30% since the renovation.” says VanDellen. The headquarters is powered by 20% wind power via a co-operative from Wolverine Power. All the wind power is coming from the thumb in Michigan.
Cheri Holman, LEED AP O+M, USGBC WM President
Director of Energy Services, Hurst Mechanical